Translating the Verizon-Google Legislative Framework Proposal

With apologies to John Gruber:

Verizon-Google Legislative Framework Proposal

Google and Verizon have been working together to find ways to preserve the open Internet and the vibrant and innovative markets it supports, to protect consumers, and to promote continued investment in broadband access. With these goals in mind, together we offer a proposed open Internet framework for the consideration of policymakers and the public.

Remember Friday, when we denied we were having these talks? We were lying through our teeth and have been in talks for ten months. But now that we’ve come to an agreement, you should trust us.

We believe such a framework should include the following key elements:

Consumer Protections: A broadband Internet access service provider would be prohibited from preventing users of its broadband Internet access service from—

(1) sending and receiving lawful content of their choice;

Don’t worry — the contract for your Internet service will specify the content from which you can legally choose.

(2) running lawful applications and using lawful services of their choice; and

(3) connecting their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network or service, facilitate theft of service, or harm other users of the service.

We pledge not to waste shareholder dollars losing Hush-A-Phone again.

Non-Discrimination Requirement: In providing broadband Internet access service, a provider would be prohibited from engaging in undue discrimination against any lawful Internet content, application, or service in a manner that causes meaningful harm to competition or to users. Prioritization of Internet traffic would be presumed inconsistent with the non-discrimination standard, but the presumption could be rebutted.

We don’t want to make Comcast’s mistakes, either, so let’s just classify those as not being mistakes.

Transparency: Providers of broadband Internet access service would be required to disclose accurate and relevant information in plain language about the characteristics and capabilities of their offerings, their broadband network management, and other practices necessary for consumers and other users to make informed choices.

Users would have a wide variety of choices. For example, a user could choose to use the monopoly services we offer, or instead could choose to do things that don’t require the Internet.

Network Management: Broadband Internet access service providers are permitted to engage in reasonable network management. Reasonable network management includes any technically sound practice: to reduce or mitigate the effects of congestion on its network;

We like what Comcast was doing with P2P traffic.

to ensure network security or integrity; to address traffic that is unwanted by or harmful to users, the provider’s network, or the Internet;

We don’t like what the RIAA is doing with P2P users, but don’t come crying to us when we use DPI and let them decide what you can choose.

to ensure service quality to a subscriber; to provide services or capabilities consistent with a consumer’s choices; that is consistent with the technical requirements, standards, or best practices adopted by an independent, widely-recognized Internet community governance initiative or standard-setting organization; to prioritize general classes or types of Internet traffic, based on latency; or otherwise to manage the daily operation of its network.

When we were criticizing Apple for their closed platform, it was only because it wasn’t our closed platform.

Additional Online Services: A provider that offers a broadband Internet access service complying with the above principles could offer any other additional or differentiated services. Such other services would have to be distinguishable in scope and purpose from broadband Internet access service, but could make use of or access Internet content, applications or services and could include traffic prioritization.

Sure, IPv6 won’t be beholden to any limitations, but we’ll continue to offer token levels of IPv4 service after IPv4 runs out of addresses next year and the parts of the Internet anyone cares about switch to using IPv6.

The FCC would publish an annual report on the effect of these additional services, and immediately report if it finds at any time that these services threaten the meaningful availability of broadband Internet access services or have been devised or promoted in a manner designed to evade these consumer protections.

We’ve always wanted the FCC to report to us. We will then use these reports to make colorful origami with which to entertain and delight.

Wireless Broadband: Because of the unique technical and operational characteristics of wireless networks, and the competitive and still-developing nature of wireless broadband services, only the transparency principle would apply to wireless broadband at this time.

Google has agreed to give Verizon whatever it wants so long as the government doesn’t look too hard at Google’s WISP business or Google’s mobile Internet moves.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office would report to Congress annually on the continued development and robustness of wireless broadband Internet access services.

Congress should also take up origami.

Case-By-Case Enforcement: The FCC would enforce the consumer protection and nondiscrimination requirements through case-by-case adjudication, but would have no rulemaking authority with respect to those provisions.

We’ll be making a habit of violating what feeble limits there are in these rules, so rather than risk getting slapped around for our behavior as a whole, we ask that the government ignore the forest and pick fights with some trees. Hey, it works with the FTC.

Parties would be encouraged to use non-governmental dispute resolution processes established by independent, widely-recognized Internet community governance initiatives, and the FCC would be directed to give appropriate deference to decisions or advisory opinions of such groups.

We’re upping the authority of our subservient standards bodies, so up yours.

The FCC could grant injunctive relief for violations of the consumer protection and non-discrimination provisions. The FCC could impose a forfeiture of up to $2,000,000 for knowing violations of the consumer-protection or non-discrimination provisions.

We won’t violate these rules unless it’s worth at least $2,000,000 to us. Don’t laugh — while Eric sometimes loses that much behind the couch, that’s almost an eighth of Ivan’s salary.

The proposed framework would not affect rights or obligations under existing Federal or State laws that generally apply to businesses, and would not create any new private right of action.

Regulatory Authority: The FCC would have exclusive authority to oversee broadband Internet access service, but would not have any authority over Internet software applications, content or services.

We don’t want the FTC paying attention to anticompetitive behavior on our parts, but we reserve the right to redefine the nature of our infraction so we can shop for a friendlier forum.

Regulatory authorities would not be permitted to regulate broadband Internet access service.

Regulatory authorities will not regulate. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Best effort is QoS.

Broadband Access for Americans: Broadband Internet access would be eligible for Federal universal service fund support to spur deployment in unserved areas and to support programs to encourage broadband adoption by low-income populations. In addition, the FCC would be required to complete intercarrier compensation reform within 12 months.

The Federal Government should give us more taxpayer money to do nothing, and quickly, before anybody notices Verizon sold off its less-profitable rural wireline business.

Broadband Internet access service and traffic or services using Internet protocol would be considered exclusively interstate in nature.

We really don’t want to have to bribe state and local regulators separately.

In general, broadband Internet access service providers would ensure that the service is accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

Not sure what this has to do with IP transport? Neither are we, but if we sound like we care could you not require us to provide closed captions on YouTube?